Workshop intangible heritage (Werkplaats immaterieel erfgoed, in Dutch) has taken an active role from 2003 onwards in the field regarding the development of policies and network cooperation around living heritage. We take a role as cultural broker in the field, building bridges between governments, institutions, ICH communities and groups, civil society, academia… In its working context in Flanders, the organisation is recognized since 2017 as main ICH organisation in Flanders cfr. the 2017 Flemish Cultural Heritage Decree.
The Flemish policies provides for an organisation to take up the cultural heritage work for intangible cultural heritage across the Flemish Region with formal governmental support. Hence, the NGO works as a competent body for safeguarding ICH in Flanders elaborating an encompassing approach. Its multiannual strategic plan aims for (1) widened ICH diversity and visibility; (2) enhanced safeguarding of ICH; (3) stimulating knowledge development around ICH, realizing an international ‘pacesetter’ role; and (4) developing a sustainable and shared organisation.
Some highlights of the organisation’s work since it started in 2003 are the development of a strong network and collaboration around ICH in the heritage sector, the management of the online platform for ICH in Flanders in co-governance with the Flemish government, the international cooperation for the ICH and Museums Project (IMP) in Europe between 2017 and 2020, the initiation of a series of pilots cumulating into new policies for living heritage, and also for crafts in particular (such as the Scholarships for crafts since 2018 following the field study and project launched by the organization and partners in 2010-2014, the Handmade in Bruges programme in the city of Bruges since 2013, …).
Some recent assignments: vice-chair of the Flemish UNESCO Commission, ICH NGO Forum Steering committee until 2018, coordination Web dossier ICH and Sustainable Tourism, Member in Expert Commissions for ICH in Flanders, and in The Netherlands, Editorial Board Volkskunde Journal.
Year of accreditation: 2012
Domain(s): All domains. Our focus is on the methods of participatory safeguarding through all domains of ICH.(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship.
Main Safeguarding measures: oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship.
Main countries where the NGO works: Belgium
Local, national or international level of the NGO: National and international